2004-12-21 Transcription of the Polish intervention at the Agricultural Council

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Recording (relevant portion is 2:39-7:56)


Below, you can find a transcription/translation of the Polish intervention and the Council meeting of 21 December 2004, in which they removed the software patents directive from the list of A-items.

Chairman Mr Veerman:

Point 16A: common position of the Council determined taking into account the adoption of the directive of the European Parliament and the Council concerning the patentability of in computers implemented inventions. And B: I motivate that.

The common position that we will adopt in a moment has been debated laboriously and for a long time during the preparatory activities in the Council. The text in front of us is carefully balanced in the form of a compromise on which the Council reached, with a qualified majority, an agreement in May.

After the formal adoption today, the text will be sent to the European Parliament. I am convinced we are all looking forward to the start of the discussions in the EP, hoping that potential misunderstandings between the Council and the EP can be cleared, and that the road to the definite adoption of this important draft directive can be opened.

In document 16120/04 ADD1, you can find the declarations of the Commission, and of the Hungarian, Latvian and Dutch delegations. The Council will approve the incorporation of these declarations in the minutes.

I see that Poland wants to say something. Poland can speak.

Wlodzimierz Marcinski

Poland's Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Science and Information Technology:

Thank You.

Chairman, Commissioner, High Council.

Poland is determined to opt for unambiguous expression in the law of the European Union on issues connected with the patentability of computer-implemented inventions, which at the same time must ascertain that computer programs are excluded from patentability.

This position results from the fact that it is clearly noticeable that the lack of order in such matters has resulted both in the difference in practice in particular European Union countries, as well as in the behaviour of the European Patent Office, which has issued many thousands of patents for computer programs.

In the opinion of Poland, this process should not be continued at such a scale.

Poland, having in mind the necessity of further research on the directive project to strengthen legal certainty (...) for enterprises in area of research and development, does not deny its support for a common position leading to second hearing.

Poland however pleads for withdrawal of the item concerning the project of directive of European Parliament and the Council on Computer Implemented Inventions from list of A-items of the agenda of this Council meeting.

The Polish Government still needs more time for preparing and delivering an appropriate statement to the Council regarding the matter this directive is all about.

We think this statement will be balanced and constructive towards working out a European compromise.

We think that some crucial items in the text of the project resulting from the May 18th meeting of the Council are not in favour to the well-being of small and medium size enterprises.

We support unambiguous legal instruments which shall guarantee that computer-implemented inventions are patentable, but computer programs or parts thereof shall certainly be unpatentable.

Thank You

Chairman Mr Veerman:

Yes, I understand the Polish intervention in such a way that it concerns a request to take this point off the list, because Poland still desires a few more specifications regarding certain points. I propose to honour this request.

Yes? Then point 16 has been removed from the A-items list. The Commissioner:

Commissioner (Joe Borg?):

Yes, Mr President, may I say that the Commission regrets the withdrawal of this item from the agenda, as the Commission attaches great importance to its own proposal, as well as the agreement on the common position that was reached during the Competitiveness Council.

Chairman Mr Veerman

I propose to take note of the comment of the commission and I maintain my proposal to remove point 16 from the agenda. Then this is hereby so decided.

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